Chinese state-run publication Global Times published an op-ed Wednesday warning that “Japan would dig its own grave” is it interferes with Taiwan after Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso vowed to join the United States in defense of the sovereign island nation if China invades.
The op-ed, written by Song Zhongping, claims that Japan’s “inflammatory comments” went too far. “Japan needs to remember that its survival depends on whether Japan understands its situation correctly – not on how China is prepared to resolve the Taiwan question,” Zhongping wrote.
“Japan does not dare to confront China alone. If Japan involves itself in the Taiwan question militarily, it will be Japan digging its own grave,” the author continued. “Japan’s military capability is completely restrained by the US and does not have an independent combat capability. It is easy for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to paralyze the attack capability of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. Japan itself is powerless against the Chinese military.”
Zhongping said Beijing will view Japanese cooperation with the U.S. to protect Taiwan as “engaging in a military conflict with China,” making Japan a target of China’s military. “This will endanger Japan’s survival,” he added.
“Japan believes that the US will definitely defend the island of Taiwan militarily. So Japanese politicians are talking a lot of nonsense here. They want to send a signal to Washington that if the US sends troops to the island, Japan will do the same, as the latter wishes to fish in troubled waters,” the articles asserted. “But if Japan is all by itself, it would tend likely take a step back, or make compromises, when confronting China today.”
The article claimed that Japan is not militarily, diplomatically or politically independent, and the deputy prime ministers remarks are an effort to “exaggerate the situation.”
“As long as Japan crosses China’s red line, the [People’s Liberation Army] will have no other choice but to strike back,” Zhongping concluded.
In June, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said Taiwan needs to prepare for a military conflict with China, telling CNN, “As Taiwan decision-makers, we cannot take any chances, we have to be prepared. When the Chinese government is saying they would not renounce the use of force, and they conduct military exercises around Taiwan, we would rather believe that it is real.”
When asked about the likelihood that China and Taiwan could enter into armed conflict, Wu said, “We hope it doesn’t happen. A war between Taiwan and China is in nobody’s interest. The important thing is that Taiwan is a symbol of democracy, and Taiwan is a high symbol of democracy at a time when China is trying to expand its authoritarian influence. Taiwan is on the front line.”